Document Type

Fact Sheet

Publication Date



Ninety percent of the 1,100 families who utilize the state's shelter system annually are headed by women, as are approximately 20% of the 19,000-29,000 individuals who stay in Massachusetts emergency shelters each year. In total, a minimum of 5,000 women and 2,000 children annually stay in Massachusetts homeless shelters.

These figures do not include over 3,000 women in domestic violence shelter (60% of whom enter shelter with their children), not the 50% of families seeking emergency shelter who are turned away each year. Over a period of three years, women also make up a quarter of Boston's 1,400 street dwellers: homeless people who reside on the streets, rather than staying in shelters (approximately 350 women).


Fact Sheet No. 4, by the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and the Center for Social Policy.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.